Mariners lose in overtime to Toronto 2-1
Toronto, ONT- The Mariners' playoff hopes dimmed tonight at Centennial Park Stadium, as they dropped a very close decision 2-1 in overtime to the Toronto Lynx.
Mariner forward and A-League Player of the Week Dante Washington opened the scoring in the 11th minute, jumping on the rebound from a Carlos Garcia shot and burying it past Toronto keeper Bryheem Hancock. Toronto drew even two minutes before halftime on a low left-footed shot by Ali Gerba.
The remainder of regulation was played mostly in midfield as the teams traded sporadic scoring opportunities. The best opportunity for the Mariners came in the 95th minute on an open shot from five yards by Jose Gomez that went straight to the Lynx keeper. Toronto closed in out two minutes when a Toronto shot hit the crossbar and midfielder Charles Gbeke netted the deflection for the win. Toronto (10-14-1, 31 points) outshot the Mariners 11-2 in the second half and had previously been eliminated from post-season play. "We had our chances and we didn't put it away," said head coach Shawn McDonald.
The Mariners (11-11-3, 36 points) have not been eliminated from the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference but remain in sixth place, five points behind fifth place Atlanta (13-9-2, 41 points) and six points behind fourth place Rochester 13-10-3, 42 points) with just three matches remaining. Only the top four teams in each conference make the playoffs. Rochester has a game in hand with two matches remaining against Atlanta and Montreal but Atlanta has four matches remaining, against Syracuse, Montreal and Toronto in addition to Rochester. Montreal stands in first place in the conference (15-4-5, 50 points), Richmond in second (15-7-3, 48 points) and Syracuse in third (14-7-5, 47 points).
The Mariners return home to the Sportsplex Friday night against Charleston at 8 p.m. The match will be televised live on Fox Sports World. The Mariners' promotion for this match is a drive to break the Virginia Beach Sportsplex attendance record of 7,133 set on July 6, 1998 and break the record on national television. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults; children 5 and under are free.
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USL First Division Stories from August 18, 2004
- Kickers fall to Syracuse in final minutes - Richmond Kickers
- Mariners lose in overtime to Toronto 2-1 - Virginia Beach Mariners
- First-place Timbers look to sew up Western Conference - Portland Timbers
- USL Fox Sports World Game of the Week - USL-1
- Jackson named to Team of the Week - Charleston Battery
- In an un-eventful game the Wave United took all three points. - Calgary Mustangs
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